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spotlight on jack

I had not gone to any church for many years and had no intention of doing so. I did not need God or religion in my life.

I had settled down to my own way of life - I had a job, a nice home, a loving wife and 3 lovely children.  What more did I need? Going to church or serving God had never crossed my mind, but God had other plans !

My eldest daughter had been going to The Salvation Army for a few years without any help or encouragement from myself or my wife.  But it was when my second daughter wanted to go as well that the problems started. We lived in Dunmurry - about 6 miles from the centre of Belfast.  Since she could not get a lift, I had to act as taxi driver, and started to stay for the meetings rather than call back for the girls at the end.  I discovered that I was actually enjoying the meetings and something was missing from my life if I did not go on a Sunday evening.

After a few months I sensed that God was speaking to me, but I tried not to take any notice.  I ignored God’s challenge for 6 months until it got so strong that I could not ignore it any longer.  I made the decision to give my life and time fully over to Christ as my Lord and Saviour.  I take great strength and encouragement from the fact that God first loved me and then he chose me - a very ordinary person with all my faults and failings, to serve him here in Belfast.

In the Salvation Army I have found great comfort and support being around my friends and fellow Christians, I believe my faith has grown and matured over the years.  I was for many years Secretary at The Citadel and enjoyed working and serving God in this way.  I also enjoy listening to Christian music and playing in the Band.

That is all very well and comfortable for me, but what do I do to spread the good news of the gospel?  For many years I have been interested in maintaining and riding vintage motorcycles.  Becoming a Christian hasn’t changed that.  I am chairman of a large and successful vintage club and I ride a 1958 650cc BSA Gold Flash.  The 275 members are a very mixed crowd of bikers indeed!  I endeavour to be faithful to Christ in all that I do in the club.

The change that took place in my life occurred over 30 years ago – I was over 40 at the time.  Why God waited so long I have no idea, but I do know that now I could not get through a day without him.

Now I start each morning thanking God for whatever comes my way during the day.  God has the answer to all my needs because I trust him fully in all things.